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Assessment and Life after Levels

Assessment and Life after Levels

Victoria Coxon, Assistant Headteacher at Archbishop Temple School, led this group. Colleagues from primary and secondary schools in Preston Teaching School Alliance worked together to offer mutual support and a sounding board to one another. Information and strategies were shared between the group. The working party identified and established mutually beneficial on-going assessment and moderation links/partnerships.


Analysing pupils’ outcomes, national performance measures and Ofsted

Colleagues from both phases now have a better understanding of how performance measures are calculated for each other’s phase.

Year 6 pupils who score at the limits of their ability are challenged even further at Key Stage 4 by the government’s expected outcomes. Year 10 and 11 students finds this incredibly stressful and it can cause a small proportion of pupils to experience mental health problems and subsequently significantly under-achieve across the curriculum.

Through sharing of information about the functionality of Fischer Family Trust and ASP school, leaders can access and present reliable and contextual data to inspectors.

Colleagues from both phases recognise that expensive assessment and tracking packages are very unreliable. A Secondary Data and Assessment leader is now providing in-school support to primary school colleagues to develop their use of the SIMS assessment module.

Assessment of pupils’ work based on age-related expectations

Reciprocated sharing of pupils’ work, schemes of work and lesson observations enabled primary colleagues to confirm that they are ‘doing things right’ with respect to assessing Key Stage 2 English and Maths. Exemplar materials and the government’s change from a rigid criteria-based system to a best-fit model have boosted confidence in assessment during the year. This has been well received and year 6 teachers have a greater understanding of the ‘expected standard’.

At Key Stage 4, based on the summer 2017 outcomes, colleagues under-estimate at the very highest grades, 8 and 9. Confidence around the grade 4 is high. Five years of data will be needed to build teachers’ self-confidence in their ability to accurately estimate pupils’ final grades


All participants recognise the change in focus from primary to secondary.

The standard of English attained in Key Stage 2 is significantly higher than secondary teachers perceived.

The segregation of English and Maths at Key Stage 3 and 4 restricts the opportunity for cross-curricular work that primary pupils benefit from. Likewise, secondary mathematics becomes more abstract. These have implications for transition.

Year 6 teachers gained a better knowledge and understanding of the non-academic aspects of pupils becoming ‘secondary ready’. This awareness can help teachers to further support their pupils.


Next steps

Functionality of the new ASP and FFT will be explored.

Opportunities for professional conversations and collaborative working.

Primary and Secondary colleagues will collaborate on a Teaching and Learning Maths Project.


For more information please contact Victoria Coxon from Archbishop Temple School